New Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course
U.S. Air Force aerospace medical technicians from the 127th Medical Group took part in an innovative form of combat life-saving training during an August 2022 drill when they practiced the battlefield care program replacing self-aid buddy care.
“The Air Force adopted this training to begin to give definitive care to patients early-on following a trauma” said Maj. Patrick Frank, 127th Medical Group medical administrative officer. “They found, through historical evidence, that the earlier patients receive trauma care, the higher their survivability rate will be.”
Developed by the Joint Trauma System, a DOD organization dedicated to the reduction of morbidity and mortality, and to improved survivability for all trauma patients in wartime and peacetime, the tactical combat casualty care training offers a new approach to trauma-patient care in contested combat environments by teaching members ways to reduce casualties in the field by improving the life-saving skills of both medical and non-medical military personnel.
The training included classroom instruction, and a field training exercise to practice the skills of applying immediate care on the battlefield. Modules for the 127th Medical Group brought experiences during recent conflicts to life in ways proven more effective in increasing chances of trauma survivability.
“The training scenario was that a bomb had gone off in a building, and it was determined to be a dirty bomb,” Frank said, referring to a conventional explosive containing radiological material. “The medical teams responded, suited up in [mission oriented protective posture] gear, entered the building, assessed their patients, and were able to get them out and to a casualty collection point.”
In a bid to train servicemembers from career fields outside the medical realm, TCCC is offered in three different courses, each designed to teach field lifesaving techniques. The training at Selfridge was designed specifically aerospace medical technicians, pararescue and other uniformed medical providers who may be deploying in support of combat operations.
“We thought that this would be a great opportunity for [our medics] to be in their MOPP gear, go to the front line to get the patients out, and do the life-saving skills that they need to do to in order to make sure that the patient is safe,” said 1st Lt. Heather Salgat, 127th Medical Group clinical nurse.
Other TCCC course offerings include “combat lifesaver,” designed for non-medical military members deployed to a combat situation, and the, “all service member” course for any member of the uniformed service.
With the successful completion of the TCCC, participating members of the 127th Medical Group are ready to perform the necessary trauma care techniques during the most critical time following an injury that can contribute to saving more lives.
“We have a lot of new individuals who just joined our unit, and them being involved in this training is exciting, and better prepares them for the war-fight,” Salgat said. “I am so proud of my team, everybody jumped in to it and did exactly what they needed to do.”
Note: Minor editing without impacting facts.